These airlines are two of the biggest in the world – owning massive fleets and flying the busiest routes in the world. Hence, it’s no surprise they’ve continued to improve their offerings. These two giants newly updated their business class seats, delivering more legroom plus better soft products.
Let’s break down what these products have in common and their differences in this Air France business class vs. KLM business class comparison.
- Quick Glance: Air France Business Class vs. KLM Business Class
- The Details: Air France Business Class vs. KLM Business Class
- Air France Business Class
- KLM Business Class
- Best For: Which Airline Class Should You Book?
- Wrapping Up
Quick Glance: Air France Business Class vs. KLM Business Class
|Air France Business Class||KLM Business Class|
|Ground Experience||Flying from their hub at Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) means you can access Air France’s newest lounge at Terminal 2E. Business passengers, along with SkyTeam Elite Plus and Flying Blue premium guests can enter for free. There are also partner lounges across the globe. Standard priority boarding, check-in, as well as 2 free checked luggage up to 70 pounds each, are available.||Priority check-in and boarding are available for KLM business class guests. Fast-track airport security is possible when flying from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (AMS). Free two checked baggage measuring max 62 inches and weighing up to 70 lbs. (32 kilos) is allowed. In the cabin, there are two hand-carry luggage allowed (max combined 40 pounds) and 1 personal item. Guests flying from Schiphol Airport receive access to KLM’s Crown Lounges.|
|Seat||Newly upgraded seats are on 12 of Air France’s Boeing 77-300 and selected A350 fleet. This has a reverse herringbone layout with full sliding doors for privacy and aisle access. The seats measure 21 inches wide and up to 78 inches in pitch, often in a 1-2-1 layout.||Depending on the aircraft and route, KLM offers different seats. All KLM World business class seats feature flat seats with thoughtful design touches. Newer B777s have fully closing sliding doors and direct aisle access. It has a reverse herringbone configuration in a 1-2-1 layout. Seats on the 787 and 777 feature 60-76 inch pitch and 20.5-inch width.|
The stylish amenity kit is decorated in a chevron-patterned design and contains Clarins skincare items, an eye mask, a dental kit, and socks. There is a pillow, a blanket, a hanger, and sometimes, slippers provided as well.
|KLM partners with Rijksmuseum and Rituals Cosmetics for their blue and white amenity kits. Inside is lip balm, socks, toothpaste, toothbrush, eye mask, moisturizer, and a pen. Guests also get a pillow and blanket, bottled water, as well as headphones for the IFE. KLM World business passengers also receive KLM’s signature Delft Blue miniature houses.|
|Food and Beverage||Fantastic! Air France consistently delivers impeccable meal service in the air. The airline starts with pre-flight drinks. Shortly after takeoff, a multi-course meal begins. It’s curated by Michelin-starred chefs so the dishes are thoughtful and delicious. Breakfast or a second meal is given 90 minutes before landing. Indulge in coffee or pastries in between, just ask the attendants.||Great service! Meal service starts an hour after takeoff and is served in two courses, starting with appetizers with fresh bread. Mains follow next which you can pair with impeccable wines. Dessert gives you an option of a fruit & cheese plate or a plate of sweets including macarons and brownies. The second meal is served an hour or so before landing. You can order coffee, tea, or other snacks in between too. Meals in the business cabin is curated by Chef Jonnie Boer of De Librije restaurant.|
|Entertainment||Each seat comes with an 18.5-inch monitor except for the newer seats which have a slightly smaller, 17.3-inch 4k IFE screen. It’s preloaded with hundreds of French and English movies and shows, including Hollywood blockbusters. You can also read magazines and newspapers when you download the Airfrance App. For aviation geeks, there’s a 4k airshow as well.||On the Boeing 787, the seats come with an 18-inch touchscreen monitor. However, this isn’t adjustable so it’s hard to get viewing angles. It contains hundreds of movies, shows, music, and more. KLM-branded noise-canceling headphones are given to each guest to use. They work fine but could use an upgrade. Charging sockets are also available for your devices.|
|Lavatories||On the 777-200, there’s one lavatory but this is bigger than conventional ones. On other planes, the number of lavatories might vary.||On the Dreamliner, there are two lavatories filled with Rituals Cosmetics bath products. The lavatories are small but kept clean.|
|Bed||Each seat transforms into a bed, providing 78 inches in pitch with a 21-inch width.||Three buttons on the side control the seat including one button for converting it into a bed. When flat, the seat measures 76 to 78 inches in length but is a bit narrower at around 20 inches in width.|
|Service||Excellent! Though some may complain it’s impersonal, the crew is attentive and professional. They are prompt in addressing calls and communicating clearly with passengers.||Like all flights, the crew can vary greatly. They can also make or break your experience. In general, KLM attendants are friendly, offering service with a smile. They’re also attentive and go out of their way to ensure a positive flight experience.|
|Wi-Fi||Most of Air France’s fleet has Wi-Fi installed. Starter packages begin with free Internet for messaging apps like WhatsApp or Messenger. The Surf Pass starts at 8 Euros or about $8 while The Stream Pass is about 30 Euros or $32.||Wi-Fi is available for purchase on certain aircraft. KLM still doesn’t have Wi-Fi installed on all of their planes, especially the older jets, so check first in case you need to use it. For the newer planes, you can connect to the Wi-Fi full flight for 18 Euros or about $19.
The Details: Air France Business Class vs. KLM Business Class
Air France Business Class
Business class passengers on Air France get priority boarding and check-in. They also receive complimentary luggage check-in of up to two pieces weighing about 70 pounds (32 kilos) each. If flying from Paris, you might even get priority screening from immigration and customs.
Another perk of flying from Air France’s Parisian hub is you get free access to their newest lounge at Terminal 2E. This brand new airport lounge has replaced the old one and is made even bigger and better. It’s open from 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and caters to Air France and SkyTeam Alliance premium guests. There’s also a paid entry option of 60 Euros or about $70.
To find the lounge, just head to Terminal 2E and follow the signs. It has four huge doors with bright red Air France signage, hard to miss when onsite.
This new space can accommodate up to 570 people. Divided into two major areas, you’ll find a multitude of seating rooms as well as individual buffet and drinks stations all around. Beautiful curved, glass ceilings inject a contemporary touch while allowing sunshine. There are also large fridges filled with different beverages including a coffee counter for the guests.
Those who want to freshen up can book any of the ten shower suites. Extra luxurious, you’ll find a host of toiletries, thick towels, and even Dyson-branded hairdryers inside.
If you’re prompt, you can also secure a free 20-minute Clarins spa treatment. These fill up fast so make sure to secure a slot ahead of time. They also have a sleeping pod next to the shower area, where you can take a quick nap during your stay.
Back with fresh seats, Air France has unveiled its refitted Boeing 777s. These have brand-new seats and feature full-height sliding doors for maximum privacy. The same seat and sliding doors also appear in several newer A350s in the fleet.
All the seats in business class recline or lie flat, ensuring you get a good night’s rest during long travel.
These are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration onboard the Boeing 777-200 and several 777–300. If you’re flying to the Caribbeans on business, you might still encounter the 2-3-2 seat layout.
With the staggered arrangement, each guest receives aisle access. There are also other perks like spacious legroom, a reading lamp, and an updated touchscreen monitor. There’s even a personal vent to keep you cool while you sleep.
The seats have a 76-78 inches pitch and a 21-inch width.
Waiting for you as you sit down on your Air France business class seat are several goodies. For sleeping, there’s a pillow, a thick blanket, a coat hanger to hang your blazer or jacket, a bottle of water as well as an amenity kit.
These business amenity kits are stylish and eco-friendly as it’s made from 96% recycled materials. It has a chevron-patterned design with a bright red zipper that stands out against the colorway of the pouch. Inside, you’ll find the usual items like an eye mask, socks, toothpaste, a toothbrush, and several Clarins-branded skincare products.
On the seat are Air France-branded headphones that work together with the IFE. The newer seats have Bluetooth-capable monitors so you can use your headphones as well.
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Food and Beverage
France is known not just as the city of love, but also as a city of fine cuisine. Hence, it’s no surprise Air France brings the same flair up in the air by serving world-class, Michelin-starred curated dishes for their guests to indulge in!
Menus are handed out along with pre-flight drinks so guests have time to peruse the selections. After taking off, the dinner meal starts. The crew begins by draping a chic white cloth over each table before serving a single tray composed of the course meal for the guest.
The tray has starters, usually salad, and bread. Then the mains with a choice between seafood, meat, poultry, or even pasta. A cheese plate, along with your preferred dessert is also included. Real cutlery is on hand, with gorgeous plating to top it off.
Enjoy a mid-flight snack. There’s coffee, and other beverages, various snack items, and pastries if you ask the attendants. The second meal service begins at least an hour or more before landing.
You’ll also find an extensive selection of premium wines, champagnes, and spirits on board the cabin. If you’re craving good coffee, the cabin has a fantastic cappuccino.
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When it comes to the entertainment system, the older seats have bigger screens at 18.5 inches while the newer Safran Seats carry a 17.3-inch 4k touchscreen monitor. The latter is better but both are good at keeping you entertained with hours of shows, movies, music, documentaries, podcasts, and more. Expect a lot of French titles too – over 350.
There’s an Air France headphone on each seat to go with the IFE. However, the newer monitors will have Bluetooth functionality so you can connect your headphones if you like.
Get onboard WiFi for free when you only want to use messaging apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. Like most airlines, Air France is providing free Wi-Fi access so you can chat with workers or family without any problem. However, if you want a more robust connection, you have two more options.
The Surf Pass provides you with Wi-Fi for browsing or checking your email at only 8 Euros per hour or approximately $8. Those who need a faster connection for streaming content can opt for The Stream Pass, which starts at 30 Euros or approximately $32 per hour.
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The number of lavatories dedicated for Air France business class guests differs upon the aircraft. You either get one or two. Don’t expect much in these lavatories, they’re not as lavish as Emirates A380s and its shower suites, but they’re pretty decent and provide guests with the utmost convenience.
The seats all go full flat as is the custom in business class cabins. They measure 76-78 inches in pitch and 21 inches in width, providing a roomy bed for you to rest and relax. Guests also receive complimentary pillows and blankets to use during the flight.
Staff and Guest Services
Air France not only offers a solid hard product, but they also ensure their attendants are professional and attentive. While some may find them too impersonal, their professionalism makes the flight extra special.
Who Is It For?
Not ready to spend on a trip aboard La Premiere cabin yet? Then Air France’s business class is a good option. With high-quality seats, spacious legroom, ample storage, and wonderful soft products. No doubt, the price can be steep but you can book this on points if you know how to use them.
Air France Business Class Gallery
KLM Business Class
When flying out of Amsterdam Schipol Airport (AMS), you’ll receive access to KLM’s Crown Lounges. There are two you can choose from: the Schengen Crown Lounge found in Concourse D of the airport or the Non-Schengen Crown Lounge for guests on international routes, found at Concourse E and F.
Hailed as among the best airport lounges in Europe, guests are treated to an array of amenities and food service to ensure your flight out of the airport is as smooth as ever.
Inside the Schengen Crown Lounge, you get an extensive hot and cold buffet area where there’s a selection of dishes to savor. Self-serve alcohol is a highlight especially if you want to indulge in premium liquor. If you want to freshen up, there are showers you can book as well.
The non-Schengen Crown Lounge at Schiphol Airport is bigger, occupying two levels. You’ll find a restaurant, paid sleeping areas, several shower suites, and for aviation geeks, a beautiful array of vintage KLM plane models as well as newer planes in their fleet. There’s a hot buffet section including a bar and coffee area. Another highlight is the entire wall dotted with gorgeous Delft Blue KLM Houses (which you get for free on the business cabin). Premium drinks and other alcohol are in the bar area.
In case you’re flying from another hub or city, you also get access to other partner lounges, particularly SkyTeam lounges.
Once boarding is in progress, business class passengers board first via a priority lane. Guests on KLM business class get two free checked baggage totaling 70 pounds each (32 kilos) and can carry onboard a maximum of two hand carry bags with a combined maximum weight of 40 pounds (18 kg) as well as 1 piece of personal item like a purse or laptop bag.
Following Air France and other airlines, KLM is updating several of their 777s to offer newer and better seats on their international routes. With a chunk of Boeing 777s making up KLM’s fleet, these older jets still have a 2-2-2 layout with Collins Aerospace Diamond Seats. Although these seats also lie flat, they are narrow and quite a tight fit for when you’re in bed mode.
The newer seats will be installed in both the 777 and 787 planes. It will feature direct aisle access for guests since it’s in a reverse herringbone arrangement with a 1-2-1 layout. Another unique feature is it will have fully closing sliding doors for privacy.
Each seat has good legroom with a small storage for keeping tiny items. On the Dreamliner, window dimmers are a thing. These are controlled by the crew so if you find your windows too dark, just ask them to lighten the shades. In front is a pull-out tray table – perfect for dining or working. A small footwell serves as a bed extension when the seat is flat.
Directly in front of the seat is a touchscreen monitor that works together with the KLM-branded noise-canceling headphones. There’s a handheld remote available to control the IFE as well. Other things to note in the seat are a charging port, USB ports, and a reading light.
KLM has chic amenity kits onboard their business cabin. They give out striking blue and white pouches designed in partnership with Rijksmuseum and Rituals Cosmetics. These kits contain a blue eye mask, blue socks, a KLM pen, toothpaste and toothbrush, earplugs, a Rituals Cosmetics lip balm, and a Rituals Cosmetics moisturizer.
KLM also hands out a blanket designed by designer Hella Jongerius. It’s comfortable but a bit too small. In addition, there’s a fluffy and good-sized pillow to be used for sleeping.
Perhaps the best thing when it comes to riding the KLM business class cabin is the special Delft Blue miniature houses given to every guest on board the business cabin. These small collectibles have evolved into a tradition over the years. Each year the design changes and for many fans, it’s a highly collected piece. However, it’s more than just a pretty item, inside these miniature houses is premium Dutch gin.
Food and Beverage
Certain routes offer pre-flight drink service while handing out menus as soon as you board. The drinks are often in a choice of orange juice, water, soda, or champagne along with nuts or cheese nibbles. However, the official meal starts at least 40 minutes to an hour after takeoff.
All business class menus are created by famous Dutch chef Jonnie Boer who runs the restaurant, De Librije. The meals are served in two courses, atop a single tray with chic blue liner and placed over a chic white tablecloth. There are two options for starters and appetizers, usually involving soup and vegetables. It’s worth noting the cheeky touches like the Dutch crown logo on the napkins, tablecloths, and more.
Mains are a central attraction here. You get three options as well as two dessert options. Speaking of dessert, the option includes sweets like petit fours, a macaron, and dark chocolate shavings, or a fruit and cheese plate with Moulin Blue, Gooise Caractere, and Beemster. However, the plates are limited so if you’re sitting at the last few seats, certain options might run out.
After lunch, you can order coffee or tea and there are also little Delft chocolate houses handed out as palate cleansers.
For the second meal, you have two options depending on the time you’re flying. During afternoons they have snack options and it’s the same for breakfast. Coffee and tea can be ordered anytime in between. While it’s not particularly amazing, they are served in beautiful blue and white Delft cups and stylish stirrers prepared and designed by Marcel Wanders.
KLM offers extensive movies and shows inside their IFE. You’ll even find newly released titles. Aboard the 787, each seat comes with an 18-inch touchscreen monitor. The downside is that these are seemingly fixed at the front of the seat and don’t swivel, which can be annoying when viewed from a reclined angle.
To go with the IFE, KLM-branded noise-canceling headphones are provided. These sound decent but they’re not on par with other headphones provided by other airlines like the Bang & Olufsen headphones from the American Airlines business class cabin.
If you intend to use your laptop or personal device, you can easily connect to USB ports and charging ports nearby.
Not all of KLM’s fleet is equipped with Wi-Fi. This is especially true for older jets. However, if you do happen to take the ones with Wi-Fi, you can purchase access for the full flight for 18 Euros or about $19.
There are usually two lavatories dedicated to business class guests and they’re often located at the front of the cabin. But, this would still vary depending on the type of aircraft you are taking. The lavatories, while small, are kept impeccably clean and come with Rituals Cosmetics products.
You can convert your seat into a full bed whenever you need it. Once flat, the bed will measure 76 up to 78 inches in pitch. The seats are a bit narrow at only 20 to 20.5 inches. However, you can lower the side arm to give you more room.
Staff and Guest Services
The staff aboard KLM business class are experts when delivering premium service. It’s even more satisfying when you get a veteran crew who knows how to deal with customer concerns while providing amazing service with a ready smile.
Who Is It For?
Anybody wanting to fly or travel in a comfortable business class cabin will love being on KLM business class. Yes, the seats might be narrower compared to other premium business products but with the newer cabin, it’s looking promising. The service is excellent onboard including the meal offerings and the amenities.
KLM Business Class Gallery
Best For: Which Airline Class Should You Book?
|Winner||What Makes It Great|
|Best for Food||Air France Business Class||It’s a close one, KLM offers chef-curated meals like Air France, but the latter edges it out thanks to their impeccable attention to presentation.|
|Best for Seats||Air France Business Class||Air France has a slight advantage with their seats, offering a wider width to ensure it’s comfortable to use.|
|Best for Ground Experience||Tie||Both Air France and KLM provide passengers with a fantastic lounge experience at their respective hubs, as well as access to partner lounges worldwide.|
|Best For Comfort||Air France Business Class||Air France edges out KLM because of the slightly broader seats. There’s also more legroom at the footwell, providing wiggle space when sleeping.|
|Best for Families||KLM Business Class||KLM wins because, at the moment, you can still find their older jets carrying a 2-2-2 layout and these seats are perfect when traveling with family or a partner.|
|Best for Couples||Tie||Both KLM and Air France have great seats to accommodate couples. Whether it’s individual privacy or center seats that have adjustable shades.|
|Best for Service||Tie||These two airlines are known for their good service. Their attendants are professional, prompt, and friendly toward their business class guests.|
|Most Exclusive||Air France Business Class||Air France currently has tall sliding doors to provide more exclusivity and privacy in their seats. This is a great advantage if you want to feel like you’re inside an exclusive cabin.|
Flying in business class is a unique experience. It’s no longer just for luxury travelers but for those who crave a bit more comfort and space.
Air France has incredible business class seats, their A350 is even considered among the best cabins for social distancing or privacy. Their hard products have improved greatly and with a refreshed cabin as well as seats, it’s made the flying experience even more comfortable. Their soft product, particularly their meal service, is worth mentioning too. Thanks to curated dishes by Michelin-starred chefs along with premium drinks, it’s easy to understand why Air France business class is a must-try.
On the other hand, KLM is also taking huge steps to improve its business product. They recently announced upgrades to several of their Boeing 777 and 787 planes. With this, guests can expect better seats with better privacy, thanks to tall sliding doors.
The seats fully recline, have great IFE, and are comfy. One thing to note is it’s narrower by an inch compared to other business class seats. This is a downside if you’re extra tall or like to have a lot of wiggle room. The soft product (amenities and food service) is wonderful. The food presentation could use a slight upgrade but it tastes great!
As you can see, it’s neck-to-neck between these two. But whichever airline you end up choosing, you’re guaranteed to have a fantastic time!